Call for new Health Secretary to tackle Fife’s out of hours GP crisis

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The new Health Secretary in Scotland has been urged to sort out Fife’s GP crisis.

Jeane Freeman stepped into the post as part of a major resuffle of the Scottish Government cabinet this week – just as healthcare bosses in Fife announced that its temporary closure of out of hours GP facilities across the region would continue for a further six months.

That means people in Glenrothes, Dunfermline and St Andrews all having to travel to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

READ MORE Temporary GP services closure extended until 2019

Claire Baker MSP wants a pledge from the new Health Secretary that the staffing issues causing the crisis in the Kingdom will be tackled.

Ms Baker said: “The previous Health Secretary buried her hand in the sand over the GP crisis facing Fife, unaware of the true extent of the problems facing practices and patients throughout the Kingdom.

“That is why the new Health Secretary must promise to make tackling the issue one of her top priorities in the brief.

“The Government readily acknowledge that Fife is facing recruitment and retention issues, and now we see that out-of-hours in Glenrothes, Dunfermline and St Andrews is staying closed overnight till 2019. This is unacceptable.

“Yet Fife Health and Social Care cannot magic GPs out of thin air. The SNP have been in Government for over 10 years and the failure to train and retain GPs lies at their door.’’